When you decide that integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) is right for your organization, the first thought you likely have is about how to get started. As with any new endeavor, there are some important steps to take to ensure you find the right iPaaS vendor and solution for your needs.
Here are some initial steps you should take when you get started with iPaaS:
Analyze your goals and objectives
Deciding on a solid data integration plan before iPaaS is deployed is essential for its success. This all begins with a hard look at your goals and objectives from integration.
Gartner defines iPaaS as a suite of cloud services that governs integration flows and connects cloud-based processes, services, applications and data. And while these are the overarching benefits of integrating your systems, there may be other outcomes you want from iPaaS, such as:
- Reducing operational costs
- Improving workflows and efficiency
- Mitigating mistakes caused by data silos and manual processes
- Enhancing security and compliance
- Migrating patient data to a better application
- Removing time-consuming and costly manual processes to free up staff
Having a clear understanding of the objective you want to achieve from integration will help you find the right vendor and iPaaS solution to meet it.
Take inventory of your resources
Before committing to an iPaaS vendor, you should take the time to evaluate your existing resources. Mainly time, capital and people.
It’s possible to integrate your systems on your own, but it requires a commitment from your team to dedicate the time and money to do it correctly. In most cases, you would need to hire a developer to create custom integrations, which comes with a large upfront cost. Then, you will have to consider the downtime to your systems as it’s deployed and if you have an internal team with the knowledge to maintain the integrations.
Knowledge of your internal capabilities will help ensure you find a partner who can fill in the gaps — no matter how large or small they may be. Similarly, this initial step can help you identify a budget; which will be essential as you research vendors. A flexible iPaaS vendor should be able to help you with areas you have identified needing improvement and let your existing systems continue to run.
Research an iPaaS partner
After deciding that outsourcing for integration is the best choice for you, it’s time to select a partner. This is the most crucial part of the process, as their experience, integration methods and payment models will directly affect your organization.
According to IBM, here are a few of the things you should look for when choosing an iPaaS vendor:
- Support: Does the vendor have experience with multiple integration scenarios and know how to support them? This can include on-premise-to-cloud integration, application-to-application integration and everything in between.
- Integration type: Does the vendor offer API-driven integration between on-premise record systems and cloud-based systems, or a different method that may work better for you?
- Flexibility: Can the vendor integrate new systems with legacy ones? This may not be a concern if you want to start fresh or have new software already in place.
- Accessibility: How will you and others in your network access data? Ask for testimonials from other clients to get a grasp of the user experience you can expect from the vendor.
- Productivity: How quickly can the vendor’s solution be deployed? Does it fit into your timeline? You should also ask about any system downtime to expect when the system is deployed or updated.
- Management: Who will be responsible for managing the integration after it’s deployed? This will determine any additional resources you may need to commit to iPaaS.
There are also some industry-specific requirements you should ask potential providers about:
- Scalability: Can the solution be scaled to your immediate and future needs? Healthcare is unpredictable, and you require tools that can be scaled up and down as necessary.
- Experience: Have they worked with healthcare practices before? It’s a unique industry with its own set of challenges they should be aware of.
- Security: Do they understand the security requirements for sharing confidential medical history? This is crucial for avoiding HIPAA violations.
The vendor you choose will likely come down to your priorities. Perhaps cost is the most important thing to you, or maybe you need a partner who completely understands your business to create custom integrations. To find a happy medium, look for a vendor who offers a flexible pricing plan, to ensure you are only paying for the services you need and nothing more.
Ask the questions that will give you the answers necessary to make your final decision without running into surprises later down the road.
Prepare your processes
After choosing a vendor, it’s time to think about how to prepare your internal systems for integration. Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all plan for this step. Every organization has its own existing processes that may or may not need to be tweaked or cleaned up before iPaaS is deployed.
Fully understanding the scope of what you want to accomplish and the data you want to integrate is the best starting point for your iPaaS partner to work from.
How iPaaS works with Tangible Solutions
Data is the backbone of healthcare, and Tangible Solutions specializes at removing the barriers to data exchange in healthcare.
We believe that implementing integration Platform as a Service always begins with asking questions about your current data usage and long-term goals. This helps us see if our solution would be a good fit for your objectives. Then, we work with you to design an efficient strategy for integration.
Our scalable, cost-effective solution is made possible by our hub-and-spoke model. We can be as hands on as necessary based on your goals, internal capabilities and budget. The best time for integration is now, and Tangible makes it easy to quickly connect your essential systems and network with a plan personalized for your business.
Contact the team at Tangible Solutions today for a complimentary consultation about our iPaaS solution.